First Class Glass Packaging

Processors gravitate to glass packaging for branding, premium positioning and product protection.

By Kate Bertrand, Packaging Editor

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United States Beverage refreshed the product's packaging graphics as well, using colorful, tropical images on body and neck labels and on paperboard four-pack carriers. The paper labels are rotogravure printed.

United States Beverage leveraged the package redesign to introduce several new Seagram's Cooler Escapes flavors, including Mango Passion Paradise Punch and Green Apple AppleLicious. Since the rebranding, the company has added Pineapple Coconut Calypso Colada and Strawberry Margarita to the lineup.

Welch's collectible jars

For Welch Foods Inc. (www.welchs.com), Concord, Mass., the familiar tumbler shape of its collectible jelly jars carries a strong brand message. The most recent Welch's collectible jars feature Curious George, the children's literary character and subject of a newly released movie. Welch's Grape Jelly, Grape Jam and Strawberry Spread all are available in the limited-edition series of six.

The series' jars are decorated using heat-transfer labels, and the labels' bright illustrations of Curious George are printed via rotogravure. Saint-Gobain Containers supplies the clear glass jars.

"Welch's strong brand equity is tightly tied to its long history. For more than 50 years, Welch's has offered consumers a fun, family-friendly collectible in its 10-oz. glass jars, and it is important to continue that tradition," says Deborah Frank, Welch's product manager-spreads. The company began the tradition in 1953 with the introduction of Howdy Doody jelly glasses.

Frank concludes, "People connect this particular jar to Welch's as a company, and it really has a large share of mind. The longevity of this item makes it a part of the brand's heritage."


 

NOTE TO PLANT OPS … AND MARKETING

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a processor's marketing department to design or source a new glass container only to discover, in the first production trial, that the bottle is incompatible with the plant's filling and/or labeling equipment.

To avoid this problem, representatives from operations and marketing should talk up front about equipment characteristics that will influence bottle design. Flowdesign's Dan Matauch advises designers to ask their operations colleagues the following questions as part of the preliminary research for any glass packaging project:

  • Will the product be filled on a high-speed line?


  • Will the plant be filling the product hot or cold?


  • What are the plant's labeling capabilities?


  • What are the height and width restraints of the bottling line?
Don't send out blueprints to make a bottle mold unless you are sure it is correctly sized to run on existing equipment. Designers have been known to create a package with a particular type of label only to discover the plant doesn't have the equipment or expertise to apply that type of label. The container design must allow more head space for hot filling than for cold filling. If head space is insufficient, the product may overflow during hot filling.
    If so, the container should be designed to have two points of contact with the filling equipment. One contact point should be at the base of the bottle and the other at the shoulder.

By answering these kinds of production and equipment questions, the operations team can eliminate processing headaches and reduce glass waste.

 

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